December 18, 2016
“I love children and boats and I encourage all my friends to have several of both.”
A good friend of mine told me that when he learned we were having our 4th child. Camp Champions also had more than its share of boats between sailing, skiing and water toys. He suggested that having a boat or a toddler for a day was a great source of joy, but they create staggering levels of responsibility that he was happy to pass on (thank you very much).
We, however, have embraced children and boats. We are gluttons for fun and foolishness.
But yesterday we learned what an incredibly gift it can be to have a friend with a really great boat.
Actually, before I say anything else, I should point out that the group we spent our day with are exceptional people who we barely know. Susie and I had met one of them when we helped judge a “shark tank” case competition at the University of Texas business school. His name is James, but everyone calls him Bruiza. He is a the owner of a fantastic 50 foot deep-sea fishing boat.
But Bruiza does not come alone. He, like the best Aussies, came with awesome “mates”: former classmates Adam and Sam as well as their much better halves Claire and Ellen.
Here is our crew. We are centered around an empty chair that represents our shared Texas friend Hunter who we wished were with us.
Few people are as nice to their own families as these people were to us. Basically, we spent a day on a great boat eating fresh seafood, enjoying some great wine (Bruiza’s family owns a vineyard – yeah, amazing) and cruising the Sydney Harbor. It was spectacular and incredibly indulgent.
Rather than describe the experience in detail, I would prefer to simply share some of the sights we enjoyed.
Of course, we saw the famous Sydney Opera House.
But we also enjoyed unexpected sites as well. We saw boats ready for two very different regattas; 1) some massive yachts preparing for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race and 2) a slew of tiny boats full of children on their way to a day race.
We went to the vast Sydney Fish Market for lunch supplies.
The coastline and beach were gorgeous. But everything was not beautiful. We did see a creepy amusement park entrance. I fear this thing will show in my nightmares.
But the company was even better than the food or sights.
We floated and realzed with family and friends.
In short, we fell into a tub of butter.
We look forward to spending more time with our new Aussie mates!